Anticipating the arrival of Animal Crossing: New Horizons
I was a few minutes late to the live video on Nintendo Direct. Not by very much, but when I joined I saw my old friend Tom Nook talking to us, the fans. He was discussing new features that will be appearing on Animal Crossing’s new game, New Horizons. After the sequel to breath of the wild, this is one game I have been more than excited for. I first picked up the game on my Nintendo DS, called Wild World. What a game it was. So relaxing and amazing to the point I could play it for hours and not become bored. I made lots of friends, hung out with my actual friends in their worlds and in mine via the internet. Every day was different. I loved how the seasons changed, and I loved chasing the UFO’s that streaked across the skies and attacking them and causing them to fall with my slingshot. If only real UFO’s could be as easily felled.
I loved everything about this game. Including changing my own clothes and hairstyle. I even loved getting chased and bitten by scorpions and tarantulas. To an extent. However, of course we all grow up and leave some things behind. I did not stay away for long however,
because I soon got a Nintendo Wii. And then after that, I got Animal Crossing: City Folk. Even better! I loved the whole thing from top to bottom. There were new features, such as helping your fellow villagers who had locked themselves out of their house. Often the key could be found in the river and was in the shape of fish? Then there was my friend Wisp, a ghost who’s lamp I often found lying around and had to return it to him at night. It was still the old Animal Crossing at heart, and I always enjoyed catching the bus to the city and catch up with the bus driver, Kapp’n. What I found kind of difficult was the fact this was on the Wii, and I did not have a monitor back then, so I always had to play on the one television I had in the house, almost always with someone watching me over my shoulder.
It still kept its charm though, I could do everything I had done in the last game and more. I dressed warm in the cold weather and I dug up every fossil I could find to give to the museum, which eventually became full of not just fossils, but paintings, fish and insects. I put many hours into this one as well. Except, not very long after its launch, the Wii became obsolete. The Wii U came next but there was no Animal Crossing port. Eventually I left City Folk behind too.
Not for too long though, because Animal Crossing: New Leaf came out on the Nintendo 3DS! And because I already had the last two, of course I needed this one. With updated graphics, this game brought a new feel to the series. The textures were new, and to me, some of the more fluffy animals actually looked fluffy! I rate this one very high too. This time, it came with a twist, when first playing the game, upon entering your new village via train, the position of mayor gets offloaded onto you, who may be quite unwilling at first. Isabelle insists you are the new mayor. And in case you were wondering, the next time you open the game, you get a letter from the person (animal?) who was supposed to be mayor, and they tell you good luck! You can do it!? Anyway, accepting of this position or not, you get to become the mayor and take over the last one, Tortimer, bless him. He was the long standing mayor of previous games. With this new responsibility, you get more power to do things. Such as renovate the town, and give it a new feel. That was awesome.
There were new characters too. Isabelle, was your lively assistant who ran everything when you weren’t there. Other villagers even came to you with ideas on how to improve the village. To create a feeling of accomplishment, a tree was planted on your first day, and will eventually bloom to become a huge tree. Which you can sit under and watch the credits roll. This game gave you more flexibility than the previous two, even going so far as to let you customise the items you put in your house, such as sofas, to give it a distinct feel compared to the previous houses you may have owned. Speaking of houses, Tom Nook was ever present, asking for his money that ever increases in size when you’re able to expand.
All of these games are for me at least, perfect escapism. Money (called bells here) fall out of trees, and even rocks when you hit them with a shovel. Everyone is friendly, and the mortgage will always be a set amount, and for the rep Tom Nooks gets for being greedy, he will never ask for interest, what he says it will cost will be what it costs. I will confess I always wanted to live in a world like this, it seemed so much easier than reality. But that’s the thing, the game rewards you for being kind. You actually want to make friends with everyone in your village, and if you don’t they’ll most likely move out at some point anyway. Every day is different, and it changes. It asks you to be kind, and to reflect that in the real world.
So I hope you can imagine my excitement when I learnt that a new game was on the way. I did not look much into Happy Homes Designers, and I did download the app, but I decided I liked the other games in my phone more. However, here it looks like the original games that I first fell in love with. I am a sucker for nostalgia, which is admittedly both good and bad.
I know Nintendo know what they are doing. So I decided not to be too concerned with New Horizons. It looked like it was getting back to its roots. You play on what is an island, and Tom Nook guides you through in his ‘desert package’, which is designed for you to be comfortable there on the island and to have fun. I have only minor questions concerning this game, like will I be able to play it with my sister, like I always have. The game is coming out the day of her birthday, funnily enough and she will be getting her own copy. We spent countless hours annoying each other in Wild World, then New Leaf. Admittedly, I found the time we spent together in each others worlds in Wild World, the older version, more fun. Can I expect the same amount of fun here? And will I need to pay to use their services via Nintendo Online? It would take so much fun out of it if I had to pay just to play like I used to.
That aside, I am looking forward to this tremendously. It will be something to look forward to after a long day where I can relax and build my world. And this time I get a hand in it! After watching Nintendo Direct, it was revealed you can create new pathways, carve into the land itself and decide where waterfalls go. Very innovative.
I think I have rambled enough, my nostalgia getting the best of me there. But what is so bad about wanting to go back to something that made you so happy? I have already pre ordered my copy and am loudly awaiting its arrival. And if you read this far, and are as big a fan as me when it comes to Animal Crossing, then I’m sure you are too.